Are splint boots and sports boots worth it? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-29-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Question Are splint boots and sports boots worth it?

I have a Quarter Horse gelding who has arthritis in his back right hock. He is curaintly on Gluecosamine MSN to prevent it from swelling. And his preveous owner suggested looking up the idea of where sport boots. he is fifteen years old and i don't do much but trail ride him, basic strecthes like walk jog and lope...maybe some hills here and there. what i was wondering, since its winter and it gets really cold, is it really neccesary? i have a pare for him already just in case. I would love to here your thoughts on why people use splint boots and sports boots. What does it really do to there legs or ankles and such?
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-29-2013, 10:26 AM
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I don't know that any splint boots are going to help that. I would have a vet look at him to determine just how bad the arthritis is first. That will determine the extent of work he will be able to do. You could maybe have hock injections done every so often, and maybe a feed supplement as well. But have a vet do an exam, and be sure it is arthritis, and maybe not another problem as well.

Also, have his stifle's looked at as well because stifle issues can actually show up in the way the hock moves due to the stifles hanging during movement. It may be the slightest bit and you won't see it but a vet will. I can't tell you how many come into our clinic with hock problems, but it's actually stifles. And sometimes BOTH hocks and stifles. So, I would have a full lameness exam including x rays done to be sure.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-29-2013, 10:29 AM
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A sport boot is going to do nothing for a horse who already has arthritis in his hock.

Horses don't need extra warmth around their legs (like they do their body) because its mostly bone and tendons with lots of blood flow. Besides, you NEVER leave sport boots on longer than 2 hours because they create and build up heat that can damage the tendons and ligaments.

I primarily barrel race. So my horses wear sport boots on all 4 legs and bells boots on the front. It is cheap insurance against knicks and scrapes in the event my horse steps on another leg while doing speed events. I only put the boots on when we are competing or when we are practicing at home. (and they are taken off immediately when I am done, and the legs are cooled off properly)

Conditioning/trail riding they do not wear the boots.

You do get a little bit of support from the sport boots, but not near as much as the companies claim. Again, I do it more for having physical protection against knicks and over-reaching.

For what you are describing, I would not use sport boots on your horse.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-29-2013, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
A sport boot is going to do nothing for a horse who already has arthritis in his hock.

Horses don't need extra warmth around their legs (like they do their body) because its mostly bone and tendons with lots of blood flow. Besides, you NEVER leave sport boots on longer than 2 hours because they create and build up heat that can damage the tendons and ligaments.

I primarily barrel race. So my horses wear sport boots on all 4 legs and bells boots on the front. It is cheap insurance against knicks and scrapes in the event my horse steps on another leg while doing speed events. I only put the boots on when we are competing or when we are practicing at home. (and they are taken off immediately when I am done, and the legs are cooled off properly)

Conditioning/trail riding they do not wear the boots.

You do get a little bit of support from the sport boots, but not near as much as the companies claim. Again, I do it more for having physical protection against knicks and over-reaching.

For what you are describing, I would not use sport boots on your horse.
thank you so much that makes complete sense! I will take your advice with care :) my horse will be happy with the good news that I will bring and he won't have to wear those silly boots :P
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-30-2013, 01:30 AM
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I use boots while trail riding. Some of the trails get really overgrown and my horse got into something once which left hundreds of bumps/sores on her legs. Not sure if it was bugs of some kind or an allergy.

I put the boots on with fly spray on top during the summer. So far I haven't had her break out again. I also had a horse cut his leg on a rock while going through water, boots would have prevented that.

If there are rocks or hidden objections in the snow, I would use boots.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-30-2013, 02:49 AM
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I use splint boots occasionally on my guy with a previously bowed tendon, but like others have said I don't think any sports boots will help your guy.

However, if you notice that he gets rather uncomfortable or swollen after rides, maybe invest in a magnetic hock boot? I know Back On Track make them, and I have seen their knee boots and tendon wraps in use and they were very good, however you don't ride in them, and have to start using them in very small periods then slowly increase the time that they wear them. I don't remember why though
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-02-2013, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hey I didn't know that! Thanks!
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-02-2013, 11:29 AM
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Hock boots....splint or sport boots are applied to the lower leg and would have no impact on a hock joint.

A neoprene hock boot used in combination with sweating of that joint may give your horse some much needed relief.
A sweat does exactly what it sounds like...sweats out excess fluid from the joint area that is there due to inflammation...
You do not need to "sweat" a joint all the time either, just the boot applied while stabled/stalled will trap the heat and return it into the joint area....this works for many too..
From what I can gather the magnetic boots do pretty much the same idea...keeping the afflicted joint warmer because it is covered...just been packaged and hyped real pretty....I truly don't know...
Luckily I have not had a horse who could not be "maintained" by other means with stiffness and soreness in their hocks.. I don't do injections!

I've heard and read many mixed reviews on the magnetic boots/blankets of all kinds...some swear by them and some swear at them....
They are not cheap, some don't wear well, last or fit properly are many complaints and issues I have read over and over on "hock boots" specifically...

If the horse truly needs some "intervention" speak to your vet who knows your horse and get their suggestion and recommendation of what to buy and when it should be done.
It is possible you have other issues happening that a good set of xrays can tell you much and give you a path of treatment without spending money on maybe something not needed...
your horse is a prime age for this to be many things happening.


Just as a thought...have you tried rubbing your horse with liniment a few minutes prior to riding to increase the "warmth" in that joint to see if it helps the situation?

jmo...
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-02-2013, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Horselovinguy, that was very interesting/useful information. I will look into that. I have another question. Will his arthritis get worse as he gets older? Or is that a question I would have to ask my vet?
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-02-2013, 09:41 PM
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I am not a vet, do not personally know your horse, your horses past history of work nor his farrier care and riding pattern throughout his life.
All these things can and do contribute to any horses overall health and soundness.

I would strongly suggest you consult your vet who knows your horse for his/her opinion and guidance.
Although many here seem knowledgeable with their helpful posts we all can only guess and could guess wrong.

I have opinions just like others that posted...but would hate to push you in one direction when you should of been guided differently... honestly the best person to ask about your horse is your vet...

I do wish you good luck and can tell you that if managed properly a arthritic horse can have a long active and productive life of riding fun.
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